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CostHelper > Sports & Fitness  > Tent

Tent Cost


How Much Does a Tent Cost?

 
low costLow: $40-$70average costMedium: $100-$250high costHigh: $300-$500+
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A tent provides shelter while enjoying the outdoors -- it's a place to sleep, to keep clothing and other gear, and to get out of the wind or rain if needed. The wrong tent -- too cramped for the number of campers, not waterproof or wind tight in bad weather, made of cheap materials that tear or break, etc. -- can make for a miserable experience.

Typical costs:

  • Backpacking tents are designed to be relatively lightweight. Entry-level 1- to 3-person backpacking tents start around $40-$70, such as the Coleman Hooligan 2[1] backpacking tent, which sells for $50-$60, weighs just under 7 pounds and at 4x8 feet would be a tight fit for two people plus gear. Larger and more rugged backpacking tents can cost $100-$250, like the Marmot Limelight 3P[2] ($230) which is slightly less than 4x8 feet and has a trail weight of 5 pounds 15 ounces. High-end backpacking tents designed for extreme weather conditions can be $300-$500 or more, like The North Face Vario 33[3] ($360) which has 32 square feet of floor space and a trail weight of 3 pounds 15 ounces. Typically, the lighter and more durable a backpacking tent is, the more expensive it will be. Less expensive backpacking tents may be made of polyester rather than nylon, and have cheap metal zippers. Inexpensive tents may also have solid fiberglass poles, which break more easily than more durable aluminum ones, and a roof-only rain fly (basically, the tent's umbrella) rather than a full coverage rain fly. A water-proof tent is better than a water-resistant one, and higher-quality tents will have a solid, reinforced floor that may come up several inches on each side (sometimes called a bathtub or tub floor).
  • For car camping (also called family camping or base camping), basic tents start between $30 and $40 at discount stores, but expect to pay from $45-$180 depending on size and quality of materials for an entry-level tent. The Coleman Sundome[4] series sells for $38-$50 for the 7x5-foot (2-person) model and $120-$150 for the 12x10-foot (6-person) two-room version.
  • Expect to pay $200-$600 for a more spacious and comfortable family or cabin tent. Many tents in this price range have fabric walls that can be zippered shut to create separate sleeping areas. The Coleman Elite Weathermaster 6[5] (with a built-in overhead remote-controlled and battery-operated light) sells for $215-$300.
  • High-end, multiple-room cabin tents rated to sleep 8 to 12 people can cost $500-$1,200 or more. The Eureka Condo Tent[6] has three rooms and sells for $850-$910.
Related articles: Camp Stove, Car Camping Equipment, Backpacking Equipment

What should be included:
  • There are generally three categories of tents. A 3-season tent works well in all but the harshest cold weather conditions, and a 4-season tent (also called a mountaineering tent) is designed to be used in extreme cold weather climates. Most family or cabin tents are known as all-season tents (also called convertible tents), which can be used year-round but generally are not designed for harsh cold-weather conditions and typically are heavier than 3- or 4-season tents. Within these categories, the tent construction can be ridge, frame or dome. Travel-Island.com provides an overview of the different types of tents[7] .
  • Most tents will have mesh screens, and a good camping tent will have openings on all sides. A-frame and dome tents are typically fairly easy to put up and take down, but a large cabin tent can be more complicated and bulkier to store when not in use.
Additional costs:
  • Sold separately for $30-$70, a footprint is a custom-fitted ground cloth that goes under the tent floor to protect it (a footprint is cheaper to repair or replace than the attached tent floor). Generic ground cloths designed for a range of different tents are available for $15-$30, or use plastic drop cloths from the hardware store for $5-$15.
  • Other tent accessories[8] that can add $5-$150 or more to the total cost range from extra tent stakes or an indoor/outdoor floor mat to a battery-powered fan, a folding nightstand or a broom and dustpan.
  • Use a sealant to waterproof all the seams of a new tent (even one with factory-taped seams). Sealants cost $5-$10.
Shopping for a tent:
  • Major camping tent manufacturers include Coleman[9] , Eureka Tent[10] and The North Face[11] .
  • Tents are available from big-box stores like Walmart[12] and Target[13] , and at sporting good stores like REI[14] and Dick's Sporting Goods.
  • The REI outdoor equipment stores give guidelines for buying a tent for family camping[15] or backpacking[16] , and Trailspace.com posts user reviews[17] of a wide range of camping tents.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.coleman.com/product/2000000436
  2.  marmot.com/products/limelight_3p
  3.  www.thenorthface.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=10835&stor...
  4.  www.coleman.com/product/2000001977
  5.  www.coleman.com/product/2000004666
  6.  store.eurekatent.com/condo-tent
  7.  www.travel-island.com/travel.outdoor.gears/camping.tents.html
  8.  www.camping-gear-outlet.com/tent-accessories/
  9.  www.coleman.com/products/11000
  10.  store.eurekatent.com/tents
  11.  www.thenorthface.com/catalog/sc-gear/equipment-tents.html
  12.  www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_constraint=4125&ic=48_0&search_query=ca...
  13.  www.target.com/c/tents-camping-outdoors-sports/-/N-5xt5u#node=1042162
  14.  www.rei.com/category/4500001_Tents+and+Shelters
  15.  www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/family-base-camping-tent.html
  16.  www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacking-tent.html
  17.  www.trailspace.com/gear/tents/
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